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Barton handed England call

02 Feb 2007 - 16:41:45

Manchester City's Joey Barton has been handed his first international call-up after being named in Steve McClaren's England squad to face Spain in next week's friendly at Old Trafford.

Barton, 24, was widely predicted to be included in the squad after producing a string of impressive performances in the heart of City's midfield this season.

The two-time under-21 international has been given the nod despite choosing to launch an attack on players who wrote books following England's World Cup debacle.

"There will be no issues," said McClaren on Barton's integration into the squad for next Wednesday's game.

"That is the beauty of England. The players can be rivals on a Saturday and hate each other but when they come together with England, it is a common cause.

"Joey is coming into a fantastic squad and everyone will be professional."

Meanwhile, defender Jonathan Woodgate has also earned a recall to the international stage.

The on-loan Real Madrid centre-half has been rewarded for his excellent displays at Middlesbrough this season with a first call up in almost three years.

Newcastle's Kieron Dyer, who last featured for the national side in March 2005, has also been recalled after recovering from a succession of injuries which have wrecked his last two seasons.

"Both Jonathan and Kieron offer us something different," continued McClaren.

"Jonathan is a fantastic defender, he can bring the ball out and create, while Kieron is one of those attackers who has pace, can beat players. He is doing that for Newcastle again and he did it for England before. We are delighted to see it again."

Meanwhile, McClaren has also named Aston Villa captain Gareth Barry in his 28-man squad.

The full squad is:

Goalkeepers: Paul Robinson (Tottenham), Ben Foster (Manchester United), Chris Kirkland (Wigan).

Defenders: Gary Neville (Manchester United), Phil Neville (Everton), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Jonathan Woodgate (Real Madrid), Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Michael Dawson (Tottenham), Micah Richards (Manchester City).

Midfield: Aaron Lennon (Tottenham), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Owen Hargreaves (Bayern Munich), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Chelsea), Scott Parker (Newcastle), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Gareth Barry (Aston Villa), Joey Barton (Manchester City), Jermaine Jenas (Tottenham), Kieron Dyer (Newcastle).

Strikers: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Peter Crouch (Liverpool), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham), Andrew Johnson (Everton).


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